If you have been involved in an automobile accident, you may make a claim for damage in the near future in order to get reimbursed for your vehicle damage. When you file a claim, you are attempting to connect with the insurance company of the driver at fault so your car can be fixed without using the cash out of your wallet. If your vehicle is damaged beyond control, you may wish to collect the actual cash value of your vehicle instead. That money can be used to pay off your loan or be used to purchase another vehicle for you to drive. This type of claim is not going to take near as long as a personal injury claim would take. So when should you expect some type of payment?
Settlement of a Vehicle Claim Before a Lawsuit Is Filed
Sometimes a vehicle accident claim can be resolved without going through the court system. This can only happen if the driver of the vehicle that was hit can work out a fair price with the insurance company of the vehicle that hit that driver. All parties involved would need to agree on the following:
• The extent of the damage done to the vehicle
• The driver who is at fault or caused the damage
• The cost to repair the vehicle that was damaged or the actual cash value of the vehicle if it is determined to be a total loss.
Discovery and Motions
If the two parties and the insurance companies cannot come to an agreement on the amount, then if no one is injured, the parties would then need to go to court to determine who is at fault and then how much that individual would be liable for in repayment. The courts would take more into consideration, such as the speed, the circumstance that caused the injury, and what may have led to the accident occurring.
Car Accident Lawyer in Waterloo knows that once every detail has been determined, the court puts the case on the schedule and calls for both parties to attend what is called, “Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR. This usually means that a third party would come in and listen to both sides, take into consideration all the facts gathered from the accident, and how much repairs will cost or a replacement vehicle.
When a mediation process begins, it could take anywhere from a few hours to two days. In most cases, a claim can be settled fairly easy and without the added stress of an actual trial.
Small Claims Court and Civil Trials
If a claim does go to trial, it could be a small claims court instead of a larger branch in the court system. Both parties will have the opportunity to argue their case and have it officially ruled by a judge instead of a jury and normally on the same day.